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Poster: DeadATL Date: Nov 21, 2012 10:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

And why the elite boarding schools in particular? Expendable cash to "tour"? Blowing off steam before getting that job on Wall Street? Just a bunch of really young people living together without mom or dad around?

I have no grand theory regarding the inordinate number of prep school Deadheads. The kids certainly weren’t touring during the academic year and I don’t recall anyone saying they were on the road during the summer. If I had to pay for a St. Paul’s or Andover education, I’d make darn sure my kid was interning at the NIH or something and not following the Dead.

It would be interesting to see how many remain fans of the band or if their fascination was simply a trend without deep roots among kids at elite northeastern boarding schools. My most recent alumni bulletin mentioned an older alum who “lives in the Bay Area and still has a Skoal ring in jeans and the Grateful Dead playing on his stereo.”

I’m not sure how the basically unsupervised nature of boarding school plays into things. I was exposed to sex and drugs for the first time while away from home – probably earlier than I would have been otherwise. Drugs > Dead or Dead > drugs? Correlation, yes. Causality, ?

I ran into Dead culture again shortly after prep school when I started to rock climb. You were just about guaranteed to see a Stealie on at least one climber’s car in the parking lot of popular crags. However, there was no talk about the band that I recall – it was all about climbing. There is a parallel obsessiveness in the two worlds.


This post was modified by DeadATL on 2012-11-21 18:26:24

This post was modified by DeadATL on 2012-11-21 18:26:45

This post was modified by DeadATL on 2012-11-21 18:44:00

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Nov 21, 2012 6:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

That's interesting about climbers. It makes sense; come to think of it, that's my impression, too.

Obsessiveness + drawn to risky behavior + penchant for focused attention + the kind of techie orientation that you find in tapers + disinclination to live in the straight suit-and-tie world + appreciation for the natural, earthy and real vs the glossy and urban + you need something on the tape deck during those long car rides ...

As for preppie Deadheads, I'd bet 80 percent were just doing the trend. Which is fine. It's what you do when you're 17 or something. Trends go around, and for some reason, the Dead was a trend that went around those boarding schools. Maybe at some point kids just visited their big brothers at their dorms, and then the trend caught fire and went on and on ...






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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Nov 21, 2012 7:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

They seem to have been trending at those boarding schools mighty heavily in the Touch-head era.

And I can see in the pics of earlier times that they boy-girl ratio was a tad unbalanced, but that was not true post '87. Thank God. (We have to have some things that were the best of times...)

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Nov 21, 2012 7:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Prep School Deadheads

Which leads to the conclusion that when things get trendy, the girls get on board. Sigh.

Or maybe it was those dancing bears. Seriously, I think there was a much more warm-n-fuzzy tone to the Dead image post '87. It was touched with nostalgia for an imagined peace-oriented 60s (as opposed to the intense revolutionary careening-over-the-cliffs one) ... heck, even Jerry was this grey-haired comforting Santa peering over his glasses. He morphed from Captain Trips to Jer Bear.